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HomeHistory - 1920s

History - 1920s

1919:  Organization of the Chicago Crime Commission.  
1920: The persistent work of the Commission disclosed information that many murderers had received immunity from trial. These disclosures resulted in the rapid trial of 300 murderers on the docket and the execution of 11.
1921: The Commission's actions led to the disclosure that many criminals were released on worthless bonds. The disclosure resulted in the organization of a Bond Department in the State's Attorney's office, which provided for more rigorous scrutiny of bonds.
1922: The Commission moved to tighten law enforcement procedures by recommending an increased number of police officers. One thousand patrolmen were added. Similarly, the Commission pressed for a raise in judicial standards at the Criminal Court, which resulted in the assignment of 11 additional judges to the court.
1924:  Conferences were held with Cook County officials who administered criminal justice, to implement parole procedures and tighten law enforcement. Pledges of cooperation were secured.
1925:  The Commission began a movement to bring about collection of forfeited bonds amounting to more than $5 million at the time.
1926:  The campaign to collect forfeited bonds resulted in the first Sheriff’s sales at public auction of property guaranteeing such bonds. The Commission began a movement to revise the Criminal Code, and recommend construction of a new County Jail and Criminal Court Building. Commission evidence resulted in the forced resignation of parole officers.  
Construction began on the Criminal Courts Building, for which the Commission campaigned. Bond disclosures in the Municipal Court led to the organization of a Bail/Bond Court at the Municipal Court.
Investigation of complaints registered with the Chicago Police Department uncovered that the police department was suppressing many complaints in an effort to reduce the crime rate. Among complaints were practices of the police to bargain with individuals charged with crime and the use of felony waivers as an aid to bartering. The Commission organized a more intensive survey of the police department to investigate these practices, and demanded the removal of all persons responsible.